October 02, 2014
Awanuiarangi repays $5.9m after rort exposes
Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi has paid back $5.9 million to the Tertiary Education Commission after an investigation revealed students including the Warriors rugby league squad had been granted a tourism qualification without doing the coursework.
An independent report by Deloitte found poor oversight of the Hei Manaaki National Certificate in Maori Tourism since 2009, when the Whakatane-based wananga sub-contracted its delivery in Auckland and Rotorua to outside providers.
The course was supposed to take 18 weeks, but the Warriors were given their certificates after a day.
The Warriors's involvement in the course last year was at the recommendation of Donna Grant, the director of the wananga'ss National Institute of Performing Arts, who is also Sir Owen Glenn's representative on the Warriors board.
Wananga chief executive Graham Hingangaroa Smith says one staff member has been dismissed for misconduct, another has resigned, and there could be further disciplinary action after internal reviews of staff oversight of the programme.
He says a total of 217 certificates have been cancelled, including those of the 94 Warriors' players and staff members, but the qualifications could be restored if course requirements were achieved.
The Serious Fraud Office has been asked to investigate.
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